Let the revamp begin

I mentioned this on social media the other day, but in cleaning out some boxes I found a tin with some gift cards (bonus!) and, more importantly for this narrative, several thumb drives. One of those thumb drives had about 2 years’ worth of photos, neatly categorized into various folders.

That in and of itself wouldn’t be blogworthy except for the fact that many of those photos were taken at a time when I was using a free Photoshop service from Adobe to hold my photos because there was a limit on how much server space I could take up with monoblogue and the photos would have quickly exhausted it. All those photos were linked, and when that particular photo service went defunct I had a lot of dead links and no photos. (Someday I may have the same issue with another one I’ve used for several years called Photobucket as I’ve been using a legacy plan of theirs for some time – it’s been many months since I’ve added photos there, though.)

On a few articles I recreated them thanks to the Wayback Machine archive, where they were still extant, but many more were lost. I had planned on seeing if they were archived on one of my old computers but the most recent laptop had multiple hard drive issues so many of those files are gone. Fortunately I’m a pack rat so this thumb drive was a find.

Among the photos I found were some of those I used for Examiner.com slideshows. For a couple years I did articles for them, placing the teaser paragraph here on my site and directing them to the Examiner site. But now those are dead links, too. So in order to not let good writing go to waste, I may see just how many of those I can fish out of internet purgatory and bring back to life.

I’m not setting a timetable for this project, and I’m probably not going to link to posts as I do them. But since I’m promoting a TEA Party book right now, it seems appropriate to point out the first two pieces I did were accounts of meetings of the Wicomico Society of Patriots, one of the offshoots of the original TEA Party gathering. (Another was the local chapter of Americans for Prosperity.) I’m working backwards through the folders I found and those were among the events I photographed.

So if you want to take a stroll back in time (throwback Sunday?) to 2012, feel free to check out two of the WSOP meetings I attended, in their restored and enhanced glory.

Election watchdog challenges more names, offers online training

The good-government advocate group Election Integrity Maryland took another step forward in their effort to cull out errors in the Maryland voter registration database, announcing a challenge to over 1,000 more registrations in Montgomery County. Generally the group has found fault with duplicate names at the same address, but has also found voters registered at addresses which are vacant lots and a lack of attention to removing deceased voters from the rolls.

“We have asked all of the Boards to keep us apprised of the progress they make to ensure that Maryland’s voter rolls are up-to-date prior to the next election,” said EIM president Cathy Kelleher.

(continued at Examiner.com…)

Conservative Victory PAC latest to endorse Timmerman

Because this story is relatively short for me on Examiner (just over 250 words) and there’s a long lag in between the time I placed it on that site and here, I’m just going to go ahead and reprise it in full.

Perhaps it’s a symbolic gesture, but the Conservative Victory PAC announced on Tuesday their wholehearted endorsement of Eighth District Congressional hopeful Ken Timmerman.

CVPAC president Chuck Floyd conceded the “massive financial advantage” Van Hollen has in the race – the incumbent has $2.2 million on hand, and has remitted thousands of dollars to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – but asserted that “Marylanders are just beginning to learn the truth about Van Hollen’s brand of machine politics and crony capitalism that is driving hard working businesses out of state or into bankruptcy.” Floyd spoke at a fundraiser for Timmerman, who indeed has a significant financial disadvantage because he had only around $50,000 on hand through June compared to Van Hollen’s $2.2 million, which is unusually high even for a sitting Congressman.

However, the Eighth District may not be the walkover people think it will be since a significant amount of conservative voters were added during redistricting. And there’s a lot of grassroots organizing experience in the Conservative Victory PAC fold as many of the members of their Board of Directors are veterans of Jim Rutledge’s 2010 Senate campaign. That campaign relied heavily on grassroots support as it was well-outspent by eventual GOP nominee Eric Wargotz yet received 31% of the vote in a crowded Republican field. Apparently this crew knows how to work on a shoestring budget.

So while the fundraiser may not have brought in a lot of money, the backing of the army of Rutledge supporters could turn out to be the most important result of the evening.


This is the video I included. We’ll see how it works, since I normally use the old embed code.

I had one other thought. Ken Timmerman isn’t someone who has to run for Congress. Come on, the guy is a successful author.

(Actually, I forgot I had this picture. Probably should have used it on Examiner.)

So why would someone of his stature go through the trouble of running for office for the second time? (Ken also ran for U.S. Senate in 2000.) You’d have to ask him (or read his thumbnail bio) but it’s people like that who I think should be elected, as opposed to political hacks who have held elective office for most of their adult lives. (Case in point: his opponent Van Hollen, who started in the Maryland House of Delegates way back in 1991 at the age of 32 and has held some political job since. And that doesn’t count Van Hollen’s previous experience as a political staffer.)

In fact, if you look at those who are on the state GOP ticket this time, there’s an interesting mix of veteran politicians and newcomers to the scene. Admittedly, Nancy Jacobs and Tony O’Donnell are longtime members of the General Assembly, but they didn’t begin their lives in the political arena – Jacobs was first elected at the age of 47 and O’Donnell was 33. Even Roscoe Bartlett and Andy Harris were rather seasoned when first elected to office, winning at the ages of 66 and 41, respectively.

The point is that they experienced life outside politics before running for office, and that’s the way it should be. Ideally, a legislator would be a citizen who becomes successful in life away from (and despite) politics, serves a handful of years, and then departs rather than spend decades in a position. I understand this places me in a precarious position of hypocrisy since I would support Roscoe Bartlett in his race over a political newcomer in John Delaney, but philosophy is important as well and Bartlett won his primary fair and square. Unfortunately, sometimes people go for the familiar name.

Obviously this took me pretty far afield from my original post but sometimes I think of ways to improve things, even after they’re put to bed. So it is with this post.

A close shave for redistricting petition

They only turned in about 10,000 “spare” signatures at the June 30 deadline, but those behind a petition drive to bring the recently-enacted Congressional districts to referendum felt confident they would have just enough signatures to place the matter on the November 6 ballot, and preliminary numbers seem to bear them out.

Out of the 65,722 signatures given to the state Board of Elections, 44,310 – or roughly 2/3 – have been verified by the state. At this point the drive sits at 39,516 validated signatures, which means just 16,220 out of 21,412 of the remaining names need to be acceptable. The history of these recent referendum petitions suggests that only about 10 percent of the signatures have been ruled invalid; if that trend holds the drive will end up in the range of 59,000 valid signatures and would be on the ballot.

(continued at Examiner.com…)

Voter roll watchdog group shifts focus to Prince George’s County

Updating a story I brought to you earlier this month, the good government advocacy group Election Integrity Maryland revealed yesterday they would challenge over 2,000 voter registrations in Prince George’s County on several counts which include duplicate registrations, invalid addresses, and deceased voters who remain on the rolls, among other reasons. The Prince George’s challenges bring the total number of registrations being questioned by the nonpartisan group to almost 8,000, with nearly all of the records under question coming from Montgomery, Baltimore, and Prince George’s counties. These are the three largest voter registration jurisdictions in the state of Maryland.

(continued at Examiner.com…)

Maryland gambling expansion may be nixed after all

Published reports are indicating that there may be no Special Session next month for the Maryland General Assembly to address casino gambling, as a lack of consensus among an eleven-member gaming workgroup has apparently thwarted progress. Without a Special Session being held, there is no way for the expansion of gambling to be placed on the 2012 ballot.

The standoff seems to center on the percentage of proceeds which would go to the state. Under current regulations, casino owners only get to keep 33 percent of the amount collected. William Rickman, owner of the Ocean Downs casino outside Ocean City, claimed that he needed a 45 percent take to “only limp by” as the casino lost $2.5 million in its first year of operation.

(continued at Examiner.com…)

Conservative reaction to Obama’s amnesty predictably outraged

In a state which will be debating the issue this fall as a ballot initiative, it was a sure bet that conservatives and Republicans would angrily denounce President Obama’s Friday Executive Order allowing certain illegal aliens between the ages of 16 and 30 to obtain work permits.

Some of the strongest criticism came from Delegates Neil Parrott and Pat McDonough, two of the leaders in the fight against Maryland’s DREAM Act, passed last year and petitioned to referendum in November.

(continued at Examiner.com…)

Republicans respond to Obama Maryland visit

President Obama came to Maryland to attend three of the six fundraisers he had slated yesterday. But before Obama laid the blame for “this mess” that we “haven’t seen since the 30s” on George W. Bush and his administration, state Republicans held a conference call for interested bloggers and mainstream press to state their case and tie together the failures of both President Obama and Governor Martin O’Malley.

(continued at Examiner.com…)

On a personal note, I’d like to thank David Ferguson and the Maryland GOP for thinking of me. I would have preferred a little better handling of the call logistics, but the information given was just fine.

Andy Harris among signatories to anti-SWATting letter urging DOJ probe

On May 27, RedState editor and radio talk show host Erick Erickson had a harrowing experience at his Georgia home. Without warning, police surrounded his house in response to a 9-1-1 call which claimed he had shot and killed his wife and was planning on committing more mayhem. Needless to say, Erickson had done no such thing; fortunately he had alerted his local police department to the possibility such a call could occur because Erickson is not the first victim of this dangerous ruse.

(continued on Examiner.com…)

It’s official: Same-sex marriage to be on Maryland ballot

As expected, opponents of the same-sex marriage bill passed last February in close votes by the Maryland General Assembly gathered enough signatures to place a referendum on November’s ballot. With 55,736 valid names required, the Maryland Board of Elections announced yesterday 70,039 names have been validated so far, with thousands remaining to be checked.

Obviously the coalition which has pushed for Maryland to accept same-sex marriage isn’t taking the contest lying down. Since they’ve expected the referendum to become a reality, they have opened campaign offices and hired staff for their efforts.

Yet while they complain about the National Organization for Marriage bankrolling the petition drive to place the referendum on the ballot, they are more reticent to discuss their financial backing, perhaps because union dues may be heavily involved.

(continued at Examiner.com…)

Election watchdog taking hard look at voter registration

Americans too often take for granted that our elections are conducted freely and fairly. But are they?

Undoubtedly opinions on that subject differ, depending on which side of the political fence one sits on. Those who would like to require a photo identification to be presented in order to vote are shouted down as wishing to suppress minority turnout, even when the cards are available for free. The same group who paints Diebold, a manufacturer of voting equipment, as part of some dark conspiracy to steal elections may also believe Project Vote and similar voter registration mills are doing yeoman’s work.

(continued at Examiner.com…)

Gary Johnson endorses two Maryland Libertarians

After being shut out of most GOP presidential debates and barely registering in Republican polls, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson decided last December to bolt the GOP and seek the Libertarian Party nomination, which he received last month. In an effort to build the national party, Johnson took the step to personally endorse a number of Congressional candidates last week and included in those were two from Maryland.

Running in the First Congressional District, Muir Boda has a long family history on the Eastern Shore. Johnson stated Boda’s “consistent stand for civil liberties, less government regulation, and minimum taxes will create a safer America where all can prosper.” Meanwhile, Boda replied that only Johnson stands for a federal government “small enough to fit inside the U.S. Constitution.”

(continued at Examiner.com…)